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Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution of American Citizens: A Desired State Policy

Written by Subject: Police State
Recently by Gary D. Barnett: The Census and History: It Is Not a Pretty Picture!

On March 4th, 2010, Senator John McCain [R-AZ], Senator Joseph Lieberman [I-CT] and eight other co-sponsors introduced Senate Bill 3081, the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010. This atrocious piece of legislation if passed would allow the military to detain and interrogate U.S. citizens indefinitely and without benefit of trial simply based on suspicious activity! Of course, the USA PATRIOT Act and the Military Commissions Act are already in place, and allow for egregious behavior by government against the citizenry, but this legislation takes it a step further.

Before I go into any more detail, let me preface my remarks by saying that I fully understand that this bill has simply been introduced and sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It has not and may not be passed. Whether it gains approval or not, the fact remains that many powerful U.S. Senators are attempting to put this into law. This point is crucial to understand before any critical thinking can take place. Although much introduced legislation has failed to come to fruition since 2001, much of it, and the most abhorrent I might add (The USA PATRIOT Act, Military Commissions Act, etc.), has been put into law. We in this country have watched our liberties be destroyed by this government, so nothing should be taken lightly concerning any new legislation proposed. Regardless if it actually becomes law or not, the fact is that many of our representatives are attempting to bring this about, and if this one fails, another will take its place.

With that said, one of the first things that should be explained is the new term unprivileged enemy belligerent. It is defined in the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (FY10 Defense Authorization Bill Section 1031) as:

Definition of Unprivileged Enemy Belligerents (Those Subject to a Military Commission)

The main purpose of the MCA was to create a forum in which to try alien unlawful enemy combatants for violations of the law of war. This bill changes that label to unprivileged enemy belligerent, defining this as an individual who: 1) has engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or 2) has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.

Upon simple inspection, it is quite obvious that the term alien has been removed and that anyone who only supports hostilities against the United States (I will discuss this later) can be considered an unprivileged enemy belligerent. Joanne Mariner, a brilliant lawyer with Human Rights Watch, explains that: The new law begins by tweaking the definition of individuals eligible for trial before military commissions – most obviously by scrapping the phrase "unlawful enemy combatant," and replacing it with "unprivileged enemy belligerent. This is a cosmetic change, not a real improvement, which mirrors the administration's decision to drop the enemy combatant formula in habeas litigation at Guantanamo Bay. What overshadows all of these differences is, however, a key similarity with the Bush-era definition. Just as, in the Guantanamo habeas litigation, the Obama administration has adopted the Bush-era position of claiming that persons who provide support to hostilities can be treated just like persons who engaged in hostilities, the new law's "unprivileged enemy belligerent" definition takes the same tack. This is an extremely important point, and one that should alarm all citizens!

The very first few lines in this bill in Section 2 states:

Sec. 2. Placement of Suspected Unprivileged Enemy Belligerents in Military Custody.

MILITARY CUSTODY REQUIREMENT.Whenever within the United States, its territories, and possessions, or outside the territorial limits of the United States, an individual is captured or otherwise comes into the custody or under the effective control of the United States who is suspected of engaging in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners through an act of terrorism, or by other means in violation of the laws of war, or of purposely and materially supporting such hostilities, and who may be an unprivileged enemy belligerent, the individual shall be placed in military custody for purposes of initial interrogation and determination of status in accordance with the provisions of this Act. (all emphasis mine)

In addition, any individual initially captured or who in any manner comes under effective control of the U.S., may be held, interrogated, or transported by any U.S. intelligence agency and placed into military custody. With the establishment of Interrogation Groups, which is authorized by this Act, and composed of personnel in the Executive Branch, each person captured or held may be designated as a High-Value Detainee. One of the criteria for determining if one is to be designated as high value, should the obvious ones fail is: Such other matters as the President considers appropriate. This is of course so broad in nature that virtually anyone can be detained if deemed necessary by just one mans authority. Any individual who is suspected of being an unprivileged enemy belligerent will not be provided Miranda or otherwise be informed of any rights. In addition, they may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities. Given that the so-called War on Terror may never have an end; this by design, you can see how horrendous this legislation truly is. Add to this other legislation that is already in place, and the probability that with any civil unrest or natural disaster Martial Law could now be not only implemented but legally administered; there is a very real and dangerous risk to any of us who wont submit fully to the state.

I might mention here that there is confusing information in this bill that is conflictual and contradictory concerning the term alien as opposed to citizen. But given the new government definition of unprivileged enemy belligerent, I think this confusion unnecessary. My opinion is that anyone, citizen or not, classified as an unprivileged enemy belligerent will be treated the same under this bill.

More and more legislation, whether in the form of executive order or proposed bill, is constantly being considered and put into the legislative system. Since much of these proposed rules and changes are either strengthening the governments position or conflicting with current law, the confusion continues to mount. In this confusion, we see that few fully understand the risks we face as citizens. This lack of clarity seems now to be ever-present in everything this federal government does. Is this an accident or coincidental? I think not! Designed confusion is and has always been a useful tool of government. If you doubt this, just consider the U.S. tax code for example. No, these continuous new rules are planned from the outset, so close scrutiny is advised.

Try to think back just a few years and consider the naked progression of liberty-destructing legislation that is now in place or being considered; especially since 2001. It is immense! Of course, it began with the atrocious USA PATRIOT Act and now is continuing with the possible passage of the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010. During all this time, the military has taken up residence on our streets, civil liberty has all but disappeared, and fear-mongering by government has escalated. The state police forces have also become militarized and armed to the teeth. Habeas corpus no longer is guaranteed and little is known of what actually goes on behind closed doors in Washington D.C. I am bringing this to your attention because the threat here is not from any terrorist or terrorist group, but from our own government. There is a clear and present danger to us all, and it lives and breathes in the halls of congress, in the courts, and especially in the executive branch of the United States Federal government. This threat is real and obvious, and little time is left for those of us who love freedom and liberty to act to reverse this colossal assault on our rights as human beings.

March 13, 2010

Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana.

Copyright © 2010 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Carrie Taranova
Entered on:


 The Constitution FORBIDS the use of US Military for ANY reason within our borders.  So that is illegal to begin with.

We need to carry a Cosntitution Booklet with us everywhere we go and if we are stopped - tell them to show you where in the Law of the Land it says they have any right to be on Amreican streets to begin with and to harrass the citizens.

Police are not Constitutionally even allowed to do so !

Police are a Federal enity created by Lincoln.

[Not to be confused with the Sheriff that belongs to the people, and THEIR duty is to prevent any Federal activity in their county at all !  THEY are to protect the People  FROM  any Federal agents of any kind !  THAT is the purpose of the Sheirff !  Make sure YOUR Sheirff knows this !  THEY  are NOT to work with  or coperate with anything Federal in any way !]

Comment by Ernest Hancock
Entered on:

And when guys with guns defeat the Bad Guys with guns,... then you have violent people with guns in charge?

The Bad Guys want you to be violent, it gives their existence meaning and justification in their minds. It's not that Gandhi was so much a 'pacifist' as he was a user of Pacifism as a tactic. Gandhi said that one of the darkest days for India was its people being disarmed by the British, but he understood the power of Passive Resistance, which often takes much more courage and resolve.

Those that advocate violence often have limited imagination. Individuals are motivated by many things,... to do extraordinary things. But, I am very skeptical of those that advocate for "us, we, you, all, our" to "do something" in the defense of (fill in the blank) when I see absolutely no evidence of the critic's efforts while admonishing others for what they _aren't_ doing.

Such rhetoric is more often from a novice, provocateur, or ......

I understand very well what we are up against, ( ) but I'm not advocating playing right into their hands. There are many more effective things to do right now that have a much more effective impact on Freeing Minds and winning support for Freedom,... and violence and blood isn't a productive pursuit now in my opinion. And who/what would be your target? And what about their replacement?... are you offering to be my new master once the "Bad Guys" are vanquished?

Should I ever decide to muster at the Village Green and no one else is there,... then it may not be time for the mass uprising that so many want to direct from the rear.

I feel like I'm on the front lines already, for a long time I've been in the thick of it. I know how bad the Bad Guys are, but I'm much less worried about them than I am doing what I can to make sure that we earn our freedom with works that are worthy of a deserving people.

There is an entire generation of young people growing up now with true information as the antidote to the brainwashing suffered by their parents and grandparents. The Bad Guys do not want to give them the time to mature with this information. I think a main goal, and hope, is to distract from the evolution of humanity towards autonomous individuals and keep using fear and deprivation as tools to keep us from reaching our potential. A potential that needs to break free from the need for being 'governed'.

Comment by Patriot 2012
Entered on:

any law that comes out of DC is null and Void! Its only a matter for those in DC to enforce it upon the rest of us (350 million) in armed situation. Our States will have to call upon our own Militia to take down DC. The Feds are Domestic Enemies! If we don't get our heads out of the sand and start organizing our State Militia soon, you will see FED Army trucks outside your home rounding you along with your neighbors beating up people like the Nazi's did. You see folks, you all need to deal with the FEDS like a murderer. Why in hell is it business as usual every second of the day as the Feds break the law? We are not being responsible for those Traitors in DC. Remember folks, its either them or YOU! You're life is on the line. Think about it! Eventually, if we don't do something about it, the pole shift will do it for us.